If you or your child has symptoms of a cold or coughing illness, they are still likely to have COVID-19 as rates are moderate in CT at this time. We are still recommending testing for covid if you are having symptoms. Please stay home and away from others for fever, cough, congestion, sore throat, runny nose, headaches, body aches, chills, vomiting or diarrhea. Not only could any of these symptoms be COVID-19 but even if they are not, infecting others with other illnesses is never appreciated. Any illness mitigation, even if not COVID-19, will help to lessen the ongoing illness burden at daycares, schools and the medical system.
**If you have done a home test that is positive, and you or your child have symptoms or have been exposed, please consider this a positive test. No backup PCR testing is required. You are expected to follow the updated guidance if you have a positive test of any kind. **
OFFICE VISITS: We are doing our best to accommodate all sick visits during this time. We have had uncharacteristically high numbers of respiratory illnesses over the last year. If your child has mild symptoms, please keep them home, plan for testing and monitor them closely. If your child is having any worrisome symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, signs of dehydration, overly irritable or overly lethargic, or other concerning symptoms, please call our office to plan a visit for your child. If they have minor symptoms and have fever that resolves in 3-4 days but are breathing comfortably, are hydrated and are acting reasonably well, especially when their temperature is down, then they can likely be monitored at home. If you are concerned about how your child is acting please call our office. If there are any acute concerns such as difficulty breathing or difficulty arousing your child or other more serious symptoms, please seek emergency care. Parents/caregivers of any infant under 10 weeks of age with fever >100.4 should contact the office to discuss this with a physician, anytime day or night as this may be a more urgent matter.
Currently we have the 2023 updated vaccine for children ages 6months to 11 years. Children over age 11 will need to go to a pharmacy or health department for their vaccines. We are allowing children scheduled for flu shots at one of our flu clinics to add on the covid vaccine during the flu shot clinic if you choose to do so.
SCHEDULING COVID VACCINE APPOINTMENTS for children:
1. You may schedule with our office or at a Yale, Griffin or other hospital or pharmacy site. You should have recieved email information on how to schedule your child for a flu shot/covid vaccine during our weekend flu shot clinics. Children 6months-11 years can get flu shots and/or covid vaccine. Children over age 11 can only get flu shots through our office.
2. https://portal.ct.gov/Vaccine will link to available vaccine sites around the state.
3. Several pharmacies and hospitals are giving vaccines with scheduled visits and some allow walk-in appointments. Check in advance.
COVID EXPOSURE/INFECTION UPDATES:
EXPOSURE WHILE FULLY VACCINATED= (You are more than 2 weeks after your last booster dose of COVID19 vaccine)
Get tested after exposure
You do not need to quarantine if you are feeling well
Wear a mask in public places for at least 10 days
Monitor for symptoms closely. ***Any symptoms require a test**** even if symptoms are mild (fatigue, headaches, scratchy throat, congestion)
Consider testing again around day 5 and 7 as previous infections and vaccinations make it a bit harder to pick up the virus on home test kits.
EXPOSURE WHILE UNVACCINATED and ASYMPTOMATIC/NOT HAVING ANY SYMPTOMS:
1. Get tested when you are notified of exposure if possible but definitely at day 5 after exposure
2. Quarantine starts immediately for 5-10 days depending on your school/employer policy. Day 0 is the day that symptoms start or the day of the positive test for those without symptoms.
3. You MUST monitor for symptoms for a full 10 days AND WEAR MASK in any public places for 10 days even if you are allowed to return on day 6 while masked. (Day 0 is the day of positive test or the day that the symptoms started)
4. GET TESTED AGAIN if you develop any symptoms whatsoever within the 10 day period and if you are now positive that becomes your new day 0.
A POSITIVE TEST:
At this time, given moderate rates of COVID-19, ANY test that is positive is considered a positive test even if it is a home test or a rapid test. Repeating the test is not necessary and getting a "backup" test by PCR is not necessary either.
You must remain in isolation for 5 days from the beginning of symptoms. (Depending on the policy of your school or employer, you may be required to stay home longer) Day 0 is the day of onset of symptoms or day of positive test.
You may come out of isolation after 5-10 days depending on your work/school policy IF you have no fever for 24 hours and you are feeling well. If you are still not feeling well, extend your isolation period until you do. If you are eligible for early release from isolation (day 5 rather than day 10) PLEASE be mindful that this depends on your ability to remain properly masked at all times around others with a properly fit mask and you are feeling well without fever for 24 hours. Young children who cannot mask are required to stay home for 10 days.
If you are immunosuppressed you will need to talk with your doctor about extending your isolation period up to 20 days or more.
***If you PLAY SPORTS please speak with your physician about when it would be safe to return to activity.
***If your child recovers and then gets sick again within 2-8 weeks after they had COVID-19 you need to contact us immediately if they have fever AND any of the following symptoms: abdominal pain, diarrhea, extreme fatigue, chest pain or tightness, bloodshot eyes, bad headache, neck pain, feeling faint or dizzy, rash, vomiting or are acting very ill or disoriented, or appear very pale or blue. Rarely, children can develop a condition called MIS-C after infection with COVID-19 and this can be very serious if not treated quickly. ****This is much less likely to occur in children who have been vaccinated.
A NEGATIVE TEST:
It is possible that your test was a false negative so please be thoughtful about when you return to school, daycare or work. Retesting, especially if you are using home antigen tests, is recommended for anyone with possible COVID-19 symptoms. Testing early in the course of illness is a bit less reliable than later in the illness. Testing a few times during the first week of symptoms may be helpful if possible.
Anyone who is sick (regardless of covid status) should stay home until they are feeling better—NO fever for 24 hours off medication, eating and drinking well, having reasonable energy or for kids, not terribly fussy/back to their usual mood. Even if you do not have COVID-19, as anyone catching your illness would then have to go through all the testing, missing school/daycare, etc. to rule out covid if they become ill.
If your symptoms are suspiciously consistent with COVID-19 such as loss of smell/taste, pneumonia, etc. and you have had an exposure, please assume you have COVID-19 and isolate from others even if you have a negative test as there can be false negative test results.
A WORD ABOUT TESTING:
If your child has any symptoms please consider testing. Many cases have been asymptomatic or very mildly symptomatic and without testing we have no way of knowing. Any respiratory symptoms (congestion, runny nose, cough, sore throat, "allergy-like" symptoms, runny or bloodshot eyes, etc.) or gastrointestinal symptoms (vomiting/diarrhea/abdominal pain) can be associated with Covid-19. Fever, headache, body aches, chills, or fatigue have also been widely reported symptoms. Please test if there is any question.
Most children, luckily, have done quite well with Covid-19 and if symptoms are mild, your child is acting well, it would be ok to perform home testing.
At any time if your child has concerning symptoms (difficulty breathing, overly lethargic or overly irritable, is dehydrated, or anything else that has you worried) please call the office to schedule a visit but let us know that your child has Covid-19 so we can prepare appropriately for the visit. Also, another reminder that if your child has had covid and becomes sick again in the 4-8 weeks after they recover, you should be calling us for guidance as this can be a concern. If your child plays sports he/she may need clearance to return to sports if they had significant symptoms (fever over 3 days) and you should schedule a follow up visit with us 2-3 weeks after their illness.